Everybody loves a hero.

No matter how many times we see it, the battle between hero and villain never becomes cliche.

It’s the oldest story in history. Just ask the Aztecs, Incas, and ancient Egyptians.

(Editor’s Note: If you actually have the ability to ask those groups questions, maybe we should start with a few others.)

If you want to go further back, pick up The Odyssey or The Iliad or, you know, the Bible, for some really ancient hero vs villain shenanigans.

In fact, the entire entertainment industry is pretty much supported by pumping out content about battles between hero and villain. Sure there are other storylines, but the vast majority of the biggest, most popular media properties are based on heroes overcoming villains.

JK Rowling generated billions off this theme with Harry Potter.

The Star Wars franchise means nothing without the heroic Luke Skywalker battling Darth Vader, the very archetype of villainy.

Even Dorothy would simply be going on a somewhat psychedelic stroll down a bumpy yellow road if it weren’t for the villainous Wicked Witch that turned the young Kansan into a hero.

Come to think of it, the entire Marvel Comics empire wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for battles between heroes and villains.

Here’s the problem: this is all a piss poor model for leadership.

The Two Types of Heroes

We are raised from an early age to believe that people are viewed as heroes because they defeat villains. Books, cartoons, games, and every other media channel perpetuate this concept.

Think back to the old cartoons: Tom and Jerry, Sylvester and Tweety, Wile E Coyote, and the Roadrunner. Even The Powerpuff Girls and Paw Patrol.

We all had this model ingrained in us from an early age: to be a hero you must defeat the villain.

But that’s not how life works.

When it comes to reality, there are two types of heroes. One exemplifies great leadership and the other is a model for crappy leadership.

Let’s first talk about the bad one cause that’s my whole point in writing this.

hero leader pushing a boulder

The Misled Hero

There is a type of person who gets their self-worth through adulation. They need to be viewed as the hero in order to feel good about themselves.

This is fairly common and we all have at least a little bit of this in us. We want to be acknowledged and recognized for our accomplishments. Some of us even start writing newsletters because of it.

(Editors Note: Speaking for a friend, of course)

However, there is a subset of this personality that believes too much in the myth of Hollywood. They believe that nobody can be a hero without a villain to conquer.

But there’s a catch. Rarely does a villain actually exist. The